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How to start your business: putting your fears aside

As you may know Scandals, our first year of business is over and so far it has been running well. But you know what they say: it takes 3 years for a business to be successful, we have done half of it so… yay to us!

It has been a year and a half full of stress – joy – tears – laughs – fears - surprises – projects  – beauty – nudity (sometimes not wanted). You got the idea; our emotion and lives were like a roller coaster: lots of ups and some downs. Having a business is the dream of most of the people we meet and every time Juliette and I hear the same things: “you guys are so brave to go through this process”, “I would love to do it but I do not have the time or/and the money”, “How did you guys do it?

Well Mesdames et Messieurs, here is the secret, you need to think super super strongly about an idea and tada!! It’s happening. Drop the mic, end of this blog…

 
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THE REALITY

I wish it was so simple. Unfortunately there are no magic tricks, you just have to bite the bullet (I know, so disappointing right?). Like anything in life actually, if you want something to be done, you have to make it happen. Were we scared? Oh hell yes. Did we ask ourselves a thousand questions? Totally. Did we think it wasn’t the good time to start Scandaleuse? Absolutely not!

It was our main goal and we were so ready to start this new adventure because we knew it can give us a financial freedom and a happy state of mind. You have to feel confident in your vision, you have to trust your guts and ask yourself the good questions:

Is it the fear of failing?

Lack of experience or knowledge?

Not enough time or money?

Lack of support from your love ones?

Not having a strong project?

Knowing what the problem is will help you to find a solution to move forward. You also have to stop finding excuses, the only barriers are the ones you are creating to stop yourself.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

The first steps are always the most difficult ones and they will make you feel overwhelmed. Educating yourself and being well organized will help you to feel more confident in your project.

 
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Time and Money

Before starting, make sure you will have enough time and money to invest. If you want it to be your full time job, your business will become your baby and has to be a priority. You will spend countless hours of work so be ready to change your schedule and make some sacrifices. If you decide to have a part time job while building it, it is going to take way more time to be ready for its launch. The best is to focus 100% and have a good 3 months of savings on the side.

Baby Steps

  • Develop an idea but make sure it is realistic and practical: If your dream is to sell homemade panties made of wood, you have to be sure clients will buy them because the primary purpose of every business is to maximize profits ($$$) for its owner. Do your own research, find out who your competitors are, analyze the market and start this goddamn business plan.
     
  • Talk about your project: It is very important to share your vision with your surroundings. Talk to your family, friends and even strangers about what you have in mind, they would be very happy to give their opinion and help. You can be surprised how creative, smart and resourceful people can be.
     
  • Find a badass name and a kickass logo: When you create a business, you are building a brand and you want people to be able to remember and scream your name. One more time, ask people to tell you honestly what they think about it, if it describe your project, if it is catchy or too common, if it would make them buy your service or product…
     
  • Build your social media and content: You need to be everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, you name it. Your customers will be mostly online and are craving for interesting and creative contents. You will have to take pictures and make videos about your product/service several times per week if you want people to buy it.
     
  • Make it legal: Just in case you had the idea of screwing with the government… well don’t. Learn what category correspond the best with your business (Corporate, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship…), register your business and potentially for HST, apply for trademark name if needed. You can also get free advice from the City Hall and Canada Revenue Agency has a program who helps new entrepreneurs with taxes. 

Being entrepreneurs is not easy but we would not go back, we love the freedom of working for ourselves and making Scandaleuse Photography an empire.

Put your fears on the side and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

 
 

5 unusual inquiries we got for boudoir photography

I love my job. Being a boudoir photographer is a wonderful experience, we've met so many people with different personality and style. Some are very open minded, others a bit more shy. They worked with us because they need a boost of self confidence or just to treat themselves whether they are women, men or couples.

But sometimes, between all of those kind and awesome emails we receive, are hiding creepy and unusual requests. Some are hilarious, others are disturbing. Since we are starting to receive them quite often and have the feeling it is not going to stop, we decided to write about them. 

 
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Mesdames et messieurs, here is our top 5 of the weirdest inquiries we got in a year:

N°5 : The dick pic guy

If there is something intriguing with Boudoir and men, is that most of the gentlemen who contact us for a boudoir shoot want to do something more erotic. And this is fine with us, why not if it is a serious project. But the disturbing part is that they believe we need to see their pee-pee so we can accept their request. So time to time we receive photographs of big Willy and the twins with a very non flattering angle and lighting, of course, pictures we never asked for. 

Gentlemen please, let me tell you something: HELL NO, WE DON'T NEED THOSE! It was very tempting to add a moustache and a hat on this photograph and send it back to that particuliar client. If you really want to show us your joystick, at least do it in an artistic way...

 
 

N°4 : The pink blouse guy

This man contacted us a little while ago, he wanted to do a boudoir shoot for his future husband. His idea was to lay down on a bed made of Kleenex - FIRST RED FLAG. He was also looking for a wedding photographer but didn't want to tell us the day of the wedding - SECOND RED FLAG. The icing on the cake was when he asked us to wear pink blouses for the first planning meeting. Because "the first impression is super important" for him.

Yeah man sure! Do you want us to wear a french maid outfit so we can clean your discourtesy off your face?  We nicely told him we would not do it, so he decided to go with another photographer (apparently).

N° 3 : The "I like humiliation" guy

This one is pretty recent. Few day ago we received an email from a guy who lost a bet and had to do a boudoir shoot, wearing high heels, sexy dress, lingerie and/or be nude. Had to walk like a model and be shoot in some very embarrassing poses, for his humiliation and women amusement. We told him boudoir photography is an art and we work only with people who see it as a serious project.

But we could provide some headshots for professional purpose if he was interested. You have to see business opportunity everywhere right?! 

 
 

N° 2 : The "you need to wear sexy clothes so I can feel turned on" guy

Ooooh man, our first weird inquiry. This married man sent us an email because he was looking to do a couple boudoir shoot with his wife. They have been married for 20 years and they were looking to spice up their relationship. We were pretty happy about it since, at that time, we didn't get a lot of couples interested by a session. So he started to explain what he wanted, sent us example of videos and pictures (remember the dick pic story previously, well those were the beginning). His wife had apparently a big and sexual appetite and they were looking for erotic photography. We explained to him this is not the type of service we offer but we could give them sensual pictures.

We were not against working with them, they wanted to celebrate the love they have for each other by trying a new experience.

Unfortunately he crossed the line when he asked us to dress up very sexy during the shoot so he can be more excited. Now that I think about it, I am happy we didn't go forward with this inquiry: this couple were the lions, we were the gazelles. 

N° 1: The "let's redo American Pie" guy

And the winner is... (actually my little favourite, probably because I watch all of the American Pie movies)
Once upon a time in Toronto town, a man who loved his mom a lot decided to treat her with a boudoir shoot. Such a sweet and thoughtful gentleman who was open minded enough to offer this experience as a gift. Or so we thought.


We replied to this guy to get more details about his request. Why not right?! Maybe his mom asked him to book the shoot for her or maybe it was a gift for his parents' wedding anniversary.

Oh no, it wasn't a fairytale, just a crazy idea: some pictures taken of his mom and his best-friend having sex. The story never said if it was a spam or a serious request. 

My friends, let me remind you that even if we are photographers whose main goal is to highlight sensuality in everybody, it doesn't mean we get sexual pleasure out of it. So keep your pants on, we are not part of your fantaisies, don't plan to be and will never ever touch your purple-helmeted warrior of love.